Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER –Marguerite S. Weiss, a Brick Township resident who was diagnosed with Dystonia, wanted to make sure Ocean County residents were aware of the disorder and educated on help that might be available.
So with the help of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, together they proclaimed June as Dystonia Awareness Month in Ocean County during a meeting of the Board of Freeholders on June 21.
Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder following essential tremor and Parkinson's disease according to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.
"It is estimated that 300,000 people are affected in North America alone by Dystonia," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who presented the Board proclamation to Weiss. "Unfortunately it is commonly misdiagnosed which delays access to appropriate medical care for individuals who suffer from this disease."
Dystonia is a neurological disorder presenting in various forms, characterized by involuntary muscle contractions causing abnormal, often repetitive movements and/or postures that may impede the ability to walk, control the posture of the head, speak, see and write.
Weiss said she was fortunate to have experienced great improvements in mobility, from scooter and wheelchair, unable to work, unable to walk more than a few steps to walking on her own and working again after undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation at Mount Sinai Hospital.
"And, while the procedure doesn't work for everyone, I am so grateful to be among the lucky ones who benefits from this procedure," she said.
Weiss said raising awareness about Dystonia will provide help to many people.
"Raising awareness about Dystonia may provide better understanding, compassion, and support for Dystonia sufferers as well as continued research which may ultimately result in a cure," she said.
The disease may be genetic, or can be the result of other health conditions such as stroke, physical trauma, other diseases, or as a side effect of certain medications. There are numerous manifestations affecting people of all ages, races gender and backgrounds.
"We want our residents to be aware of the efforts of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and the Central Jersey Dystonia Support Group to raise public awareness and understanding of Dystonia," Vicari said. "We thank Marguerite for sharing her story with us."
Additional information can be found at: Central Jersey Dystonia Support and Action Group, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. And at their Facebook page: Facebook.com/CentralJerseyDystonia. Also at Dystonia Medical Research Foundation at www.dystonia-foundation.org